Guild Wars 2 Ranger Pets

In Guild Wars 2, pets will be the defining aspect of the Ranger profession. Rangers have two terrestrial and two aquatic pet slots into which they can place nameable, controllable and fully customizable pets. (Amphibious pets are able to occupy either terrestrial or aquatic slots.) Don't worry though, you don't have to feed, groom or clean up after these pets!

At the time of writing this there are forty six different pets in GW2! Pets are grouped in different catagories and pets in each catagory have a very specific role to play and a different set of skills and abilities to complement that role. Depending on the situation and / or party structure the ranger finds themselves in, they may choose a bear who's good at tanking, a Drake who's a high damage pet or a brown bear who's good at removing conditions.

The ranger still charms pets into joining him as faithful companions in the same way as they did in the original Guild Wars, however in GW2 you get to choose between three different pets right from the start with those choices varying according to your race. You can manage your pets using the Pet Management panel where you'll be able to select your primary and secondary pets (the two pets you can hot-swap between).

Moa birds, Spiders, Lizards, Wolves and Bears are once again available as pets but there are also some new additions in Guild Wars 2 including the first water-based pet, the Shark! As terrestrial pets can't go underwater, this will be a popular companion when exploring the numerous aquatic areas of Guild Wars 2.

In Guild Wars 2 each pet belongs to a species and each species belongs to a family. For example, a snow leopard is a species belonging to the feline pet family. The ranger must charm whichever pet they want and once they do that, it unlocks that pet's species allowing you to equip that species into any pet slot whenever you're out of combat.

Each animal family has 3 family skills that define that family's basic behavior. For example, devourers use ranged attacks, drakes do AoE damage, bears are hard to kill etc. These skills are automatically used by the pet. Each species within a family has a unique activated skill that does something cool. For example, brown bears have a roar that removes conditions, while polar bears have an icy roar that freezes enemies. This family skill has a cooldown which the ranger activates by pressing the F2 key.

Terrestrial Pets

Bird Family
  • Eagle
  • Owl
  • Raven
  • White Raven

Canine Family (Dogs)
  • Alpine Wolf
  • Fern Mastiff
  • Hyena
  • Krytan Drakehound
  • Wolf

Feline Family (Cats)
  • Snow Lynx

Moa Family
  • Black Moa
  • Blue Moa
  • Crimson Moa
  • Golden Moa
  • Red Moa
  • White Moa
  • Juvenile Flamingo

Pigs / Boar Family
  • Boar
  • Pig
  • Siamoth
  • Warthog

Spider Family
  • Black Widow
  • Canyon Spider
  • Forest Spider
  • Jungle Spider
So many pets to choose from!

Aquatic / Amphibious Pets
Terrestrial pets

Aquatic Pets

Fish Family
  • Armorfish
  • Blue Jellyfish
  • Green Jellyfish
  • Rainbow Jellyfish
  • Red Jellyfish
  • Shark

Amphibious Pets

Bear Family
  • Arctodus
  • Black Bear
  • Brown Bear
  • Murrelow
  • Polar Bear

Drake Family
  • Ice Drake
  • Marsh Drake
  • River Drake
  • Salamander Drake

Devourer Family
  • Carrion Devourer
  • Lashtail Devourer
  • Whiptail Devourer

Feline Family (Cats)
  • Jaguar
  • Jungle Stalker
  • Snow Leopard

Terrestrial pets management screenAmphibious pets screen

Below is a short video from the Guild Wars 2 Beta weekend in February 2012. It shows a ranger using the
pet management screen and though it's a little blurry, does show the many options the ranger has for a pet.
He chooses three pets and then heads underwater where he demonstrates how pet-switching works.

In Guild Wars 2, a ranger can collect and use every type of pet in the game without having to worry about stables or leveling the pets from scratch as the pet's level is determined by the level of the ranger, so if you get to level 50 and you want to charm a new type of pet, you don't have to spend time levelling that pet.

Calling down some feathered friends to help... "Hunter's Call" in action...

The pet command bar is located above the weapon skill bar. Here you can set your pet's stance to active or passive (toggleable by pressing F3), as well as giving specific "heel", "stay" and "attack" commands, which is a great feature to avoid unintentional aggros and pet-induced pulls. In the active stance, if your pet is doing nothing and you engage in combat, your pet will attack your opponent. In the passive stance, your pet will follow you and not attack unless you explicitly order it to do so.

Each pet type has different abilities. The player can't activate individual pet skills, which are managed by the AI, however, the player can send commands to his pet. The combination of the commands and the pet modes define the pet's behavior.

Behavior Modes

The animal companion AI has two modes which can be toggled.

  • Aggressive - Attack what I am attacking.
  • Passive - Don't attack.


Direct commands are acted on immediately by the animal companion.

  • Attack - Attack my target.
  • Heel - Come to me.
  • Stay - Do not move.
Ranger pets can be ordered to attack a specific enemy by selecting a target and hitting F1. This action will temporarily overwrite your pet's current behavior, giving you more direct control over your pet's actions in complicated combat situations.

A Ranger in Guild Wars 2 has two active pet slots and can switch the pets at any time, even during combat, using the F4 key. This mechanic still works when your current active pet is defeated, allowing the ranger to quickly adapt when a pet is downed or when a situation arises that calls for a new pet with different skills. Swapping pets has a cooldown associated with it, and this cooldown is longer if the active pet was downed when the swap took place. A downed pet that was swapped out will be at full health when he is swapped back in.

Barrage Pet Ranger Guild Wars 2 style!

Guild Wars 2 rangers will also have the choice to use some of their personal skill slots to make their pets even more effective. For example, rangers might bring "Heal as One" in their healing skill slot, which heals both the ranger and his pet but is a less effective self heal than he might otherwise bring. A player is free to change any skills the pet uses whenever they are outside of combat.
Pets don't have any finishing moves or downed skills. When a ranger pet's health bar is depleted, it becomes injured. It will follow its master around until they revive it, but it won't fight, so Rangers don't have to worry about losing their pet as they don't stay dead in one spot. If you are defeated, your pet will pop back to the waypoint with you when you revive.

There's enough pet action to keep any Beastmaster happy in Guild Wars 2, but choosing which beasts to master may be the key! GUILD WARS 2 Ranger pets.

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